Wooooohooo!! What an amazing night! It was wonderful to have these fun and brilliant bands perform to celebrate 19 years of our showcases. It was great to be able to showcase the diversity and talent we have currently in Hong Kong.
Biggest shout out to the amazing audience who kept saying what great bands we have in Hong Kong!
A big thanks to The Wanch for being an awesome host for our 19th Anniversary Party!
Thanks to our prize sponsors: Tom Lee, Asher Chan Photography, ECT, Noise Origin, Timeless & Tasty, Positive Wellbeing and Gowld Art Centre.
Thanks to the six bands who were part of this memorable night.
Thanks to Asher & Aaron for all the great photos.
To all the wonderful people who make The Underground run so smoothly, I appreciate you guys so much: Big shout out to the team on site: Shaun, Calvin, Ally & Sophie
Shout out to Jojo on sound.
Total respect and love to El Jay, Sherman & Rosie, our reviewers who dedicate their time to writing reviews for each band.
Thanks to Bay for the cool poster artwork.
Thanks to Shaun for supporting everything I do.
嘩！ 幾咁精彩嘅一個晚上！ 我哋非常榮幸喺15週年紀念音樂會能夠有咁出色嘅樂隊為我哋帶來咁精湛嘅演出，而且非常驕傲咁展現香港音樂人嘅才華同多面化。
好多謝 The Wanch 全力支持我哋舉辦19周年慶祝派對呀，你哋真係冇得彈！
感謝 Tom Lee, Asher Chan Photography, ECT, Noise Origin, Timeless & Tasty, Positive Wellbeing & Gowld Art Centre 贊助豐富嘅禮物。
感謝 Asher 同 Aaron 影嘅靚相。
節目能夠順利舉行，當然唔少得我哋幕後團隊 Shaun, Calvin, Ally 同 Sophie。
亦都要感謝我哋嘅樂評人 El Jay, Sherman 同 Rosie 抽出寶貴嘅時間為我哋撰寫樂評。
感謝Bay設計咗好靚嘅海報。最後要感謝 Shaun 一直支持我嘅工作。
Thanks you to importer Hopless Daze for providing exclusive beers from England – Black Country Ales ‘BFG (Golden Ale’ and Chain Ale (Session Ale) – debuting at in Hong Kong at 19th Anniversary!
我們感激啤酒入口商Hopless Daze為是次音樂會贊助來自英國伯明翰的兩種傳統英式麥酒：Black Country Ale的 BFG (Golden Ale)以及Chain Ale (Session Ale)。
❤ Chris B xx
Le Groupe Electrogène Fanfare Club
– Las barricadas
– Bella Ciao
– Sweet Dreams
– Take on me
– Femmes des années 80
– Titine/Les yeux noirs/Tetris
19 glorious years of the Underground working hard to bring the best and most delightful of Hong Kong’s unsigned music acts to the stage, and what better group to intro the anniversary than the regal themed, party raising, brass marching band Le Groupe Electrogène Fanfare Club. With their snazzy outfits, 17 members managed to fit on the stage of the Wanch, bringing it alive with colour changing lit up shoes and a multitude of brass instruments stealing the eyes of the audience, the band starts with their first song, “Momo”, with a groovy Jazzy vibe at first, the singer clapping to get the crowd worked up. Halfway into the song, a member comes round to the front of the audience with light up juggling batons to wow and impress the audience to a rapidly intensifying beat, the crowd roaring and clapping at approval of the spectacle. Leading on to the second song “Las barricadas”, a swing like and very soulful start to the song got the audience swaying along, with everyone going crazy when the song abruptly erupts with energy halfway through.
In the next song, “Gnossienne”, featuring a polka type beat, everyone was twisting along to the rhythm, during the song the french horn player rushed into the audience and encouraged the audience to sing along with the very memorable “la la la” melody lines, while the two singers were waltzing on the stage with swinging ballroom dancing. After a chilled-out boogie, the band kept the crowd work up with “Bella Ciao”, with the singer crooning the titular words Bella Ciao and motioning the crowd to join in as the song’s energy ebbs and flows.
Following that, the band captivated the audience with two very recognizable and memorable renditions of “Sweet Dreams” and “Take On Me” respectively, the crowd joining in pretty much immediately, and most predictably the crowd reaching their loudest singing the high note in Take On Me. The band decided to give the audience some room to breathe with the slow starting “Femmes des années 80”, During this time the “Party guy” (juggler and general crowd worker) flew into the crowd handing out noodle balloons for everyone to hold (I made mine into a hat), with the song ramping up in intensity and speeding up, making the crowd wave their balloons around ecstatically.
With balloons in hand, the crowd’s energy was kept adrift as the band hit them with a triple melody mashup of “Titine/Les yeux noirs/Tetris”, this time the party guy bringing out a bubble-blowing hat and rushing around the dance floor turning it into an extravaganza of colourful balloons and bubbles waving around the venue. After this song the crowd chanted “One More Song!” enthusiastically, which they happily obliged with their last song “Pinnochio”, featuring intense trumpet solos and more bubble blowing around the venue from the party guy.
Le Groupe Electrogène Fanfare Club was the perfect band to start off the night, hyping the crowd up for a fantastic night and bringing the party vibe to full effect so high spirits could be kept throughout the night.
– Sherman Leung
Following a very energetic and vibrant show by the festive Le Electrogene Fanfare Club, Revery introduces themselves on stage clad in The Underground 19th Anniversary t-shirts, the lead singer announcing that it’s the first time in four months since they played together on the stage. Given some encouragement with the crowd, the band launched into their first song “Mario”, A song with smooth vibes that got the crowd chilling along to confident and strong sounding vocals, and a star studded, reverb drenched guitar solo. Revery got the crowd grooving along to the song, with dancing breaking out as the song goes into full swing.
For the next song “LOL” introduced by some funky guitar work, the crowd was very into the relaxing atmosphere the song provided. Continuing on from the gaming theme they have going on their next song “魔物獵人”, written around their experiences playing Monster Hunter together, also had a very nice and chill laid back vibe, with a few fans at the front getting very into it and grooving along to the soulful and jazzy melody. The next song “蜉蝣人” featured a complex guitar intro and groovy bass lines. With the lead singer putting in some crowd work during the bridge, there were many hollers from the crowd, moving with the beat and getting stuck into the groove.
After an energetic boogie, Revery stuck in an impromptu song “花時間”, a chill song giving the crowd a breather from the dancing, not before building up the energy towards the end of the song and working the crowd, getting them dancing again. Their last song “門前雪” was very fitting for the end of their set, a noticeably much heavier song that reminded me a bit of HK Post Hardcore band Instinct of Sight, littered with gang vocals and chants. You could tell a lot of crowd members were looking forward to this song, many raising metal horns and moshing along, and a few fans at the front singing their hearts out.
Revery delivered a very well-rehearsed and tight set, the experience of each of the musicians could be seen throughout the show, with the guitarist putting out complex and well thought out licks, the lead singer pouring his heart out, the bassist’s groovy lines carrying the songs like a smooth sailing ship, and the drummer doing amazing work bringing the energy of the song up and down.
– Sherman Leung
Murphy & the Lawyers
3. 6 K miles away
4. Na Jai bobé
5. Red Light
6. Poiish Vodka
7. Super Saiyan
9. Queen of Chess
Being used to seeing these guys as “Murphy’s Law” who won The Aftermath’s Battle of The Bands contest, Chris B explained during their introduction that another band on spotify had already taken that name, and facilitating their debut single on Spotify they decided to change their name to (in my opinion) the better name “Murphy & The Lawyers”. Noted prior to the gig was that the Drummer Akira had broke his finger, however the show must go on and they didn’t want to do a last-minute cancellation so the bassist (Kevin) took the drums and a friend of the band, Bambi, took the bass.
Starting with “Kathmandu”, the crowd was very intimately listening to the soulful intro with a few fans singing along already, the rest of the band members gelling well with the rhythm and getting into it, highlighting a sparkling sax solo that got hoots and hollers from the audience. A smooth segue into the next song “Raggafire” followed, with a reggae beat, ragga vocals, crowd members got dancing along with the tune, the band really getting into the groove, there were even members of the first band (Le Groupe Electrogène Fanfare Club) bringing out some percussion instruments and rhythmically tapping along to the beat.
The next song “6K Miles Away” had an even heavier dub reggae feel, this time the crowd really packing on to the dance floor, the dance party bobbing up and down like a wave. Next followed a new song “Na Jai bobé”, a song with a melody and rhythm that got the pumped up crowd dancing instantly, with very soulful melodies and afro beat vibes, and a very memorable steel drum accompaniment from the synth player. Before the next song “Red Light”, the singer heeded calls of the audience to take off his shirt, revealing a 19th anniversary t-shirt underneath. After taking a shot, they launched into a classic reggae guitar groove from the guitar, the crowd in full dancing mode after the first verse. The song had a very raunchy vibe, with the stage being lit up red appropriately to the song name, and featured an intricate Hammond organ solo. The next song “Poiish Vodka” had a very clubby feeling, the crowd was really getting into the rhythm, dancing and doing shots all around, with a lot of jogging and dancing during the song.
Following this the song “Super Saiya” raised the party vibe, with the song featuring a call and response style structure, the fiery guitar licks called and the vocals responded, the fans at the front were having an absolute blast to the afro beat interlude, and another Hammond solo eliciting a big cheer, the second half of the song got the crowd jumping and pogo-ing to the beat. The next song “Antidote” was another that had a very heavy reggae sound, the crowd members grooving hard to the dub feel. Their last song “Queen of Chess”, another new song, had again a very afro beat feel, prompting an intense energy from the crowd, a few members gang chanting “Oi” along to the fast driven vocals and rhythm, and ending with a standing ovation from the crowd.
Murphy & The Lawyer’s name change certainly didn’t impact their style and the same party vibe they were always known for was bought to the stage for this show, working the crowd extremely well with their blend of afro beat, reggae and pop, the crowd danced the night away to this amazing band.
– Sherman Leung
encore (in case )
A sense of chaos pervades metalcore group Yusobeit’s antepenultimate set. Turtleneck-clad lead singer Elvis, aka Yu, begins the performance with a yoga-like ritual before unleashing an anguished roar as an electronic synth track kicks in.
Melodic verses bookended by growling; angry rhythms; hardcore breakdowns; serrated electronic programming; all these elements combine to create the patchwork of industrial metal with elements of screamo that defines Yusobeit.
Bizarrely, much of the set has an overly loud drum click track throughout. What seems like a stylistic choice for the first track it appears in quickly becomes a probable sound error as the irritating, woodpecker sound persists throughout.
Elvis is undoubtedly a gifted showman, but drummer MC steals the show. Dressed in a golfing jumper and bucket hat, he stands up to rap while keeping the rhythm driving.
Fourth track 怪物育成計劃 brings some variation to the set as a poppier number with rolling toms before 56kbps leads the descent back below the surface of the primordial soup, with reptilian screams, barking and shouts “jump! jump! jump!” that whip up the crowd.
It’s hard not to recall Hoobastank’s The Reason for the final song It’s Okay. Vocals are softer and more evocative of Chino Moreno’s brooding, plaintive style, and rumbling drums and bass underpin verses that intensify in emotion as the song plays out.
Overall, although Yusobeit seem to have all the individual elements in place to be a truly gripping live band, sound inconsistencies — the strange metronome and a guitar almost inaudible throughout the set –regrettably make for a lacklustre experience.
What They Do
1. See You in Hell
3. Nothing’s Gonna Go My Way
4. Melancholic Fantasy
6. Beneath the Surface
7. A Buttdial is Not a Booty Call
One of the most active live bands in Hong Kong at the moment, What They Do is gaining a reputation as a reliable crowd-pleaser with a live set that draws from across the rock genre. Fresh from an acclaimed performance and the debuting of a new lineup at West Kowloon Cultural District’s Pop Fest, the group has moved away from the Rage Against the Machine covers that defined earlier shows and towards original material that blends thrash, 00s alternative and nu-metal influences.
The lineup change has paid off: zany former drummer Ferdie Ramos was undoubtedly talented, but prone to unpredictability; Gabe Andre brings serious craft and workmanlike stability to the group, especially on tracks like Amazing and Melancholic Fantasy on which the long-time scene fixture’s versatility and mastery shine through. As a team, he and new bassist Rusty Wishart create a rock-solid rhythmic foundation that allows singer Josephine Persson (“JP”) and Bay Leung’s melodies to bloom.
The band’s true identity has so far proven evasive and it sometimes feels like its sound is still in development – although that’s not necessarily a criticism, certain songs lack a feel of originality. Leung, the stylish showman to Persson’s quiet fire, is a versatile and commanding performer, but to progress the band past this point, it would be interesting to see what the dimension of a second guitar would add. The solo on Climb, for instance, feels off-kilter, and the song peters out without a decisive ending, yet the solo on Nothing’s Gonna Go My Way punches through the mix very effectively. However, it’s clear that rougher ridges and looser ends are slowly being smoothed out and a band of serious substance is taking flight.
Persson, in possession of one of Hong Kong’s most unique vocal deliveries, has significantly grown in confidence compared to early shows, likely boosted by the beefed-up musicianship around her. Her voice is at its most comfortable when prowling huskily, though the singer is not afraid to throw in a growl or let things really soar, which makes for a magnetic effect. Using jazz-inflected motifs, seasoned performer Wishart brings greater personality and flair to older tracks like Nothing’s Gonna Go My Way and Amazing, embellishing each enough to create depth and intrigue without veering into ostentatiousness.
Melancholic Fantasy and Beneath the Surface are Persson’s creations; the former a shape-shifter of a track that blends thrash with a sultry, Middle Eastern section; the other delivering a strong chorus aided by locked-in drums and bass and Iron Maiden guitar that chugs along evilly. Closer and What They Do signature A Buttdial is Not a Booty Call twins Red Hot Chilli Peppers funk bass with a growly chorus. It’s a pure party song that doesn’t take itself seriously, and a good choice to top the set.
Ultimately, the members never look like they’re not having fun, and this upbeat atmosphere rarely fails to imprint upon the audience. Now the band has a real backbone, it’s exciting to see where they’ll go, and – apologies – what they’ll do.
– El Jay
Twenty-one-year-old identical twin brothers Fxith and Hxpe, pronounced “faith” and “hope”, take to the stage with Bjorn manning the laptop for their self-produced background tracks. Despite one of the brothers feeling unwell, they put on a short but punchy set that showcased their gritty charm, likely to appeal to fans of the genre.
The group opens the set with the song No H4te; the repetitive use of phrases like “yeah, yeah” and “whoa” may come across as lazy or uninspired to some listeners, but the brothers’ rapid-fire delivery and streetwise slang give the lyrics a certain edge that is hard to ignore. The frequent drug references feel a bit gratuitous at times, and despite a somewhat incoherent structure, the music has a hypnotic rhythm and catchy chorus that get heads nodding and feet tapping.
The lyrics of “Eurasian” explore the brothers’ mixed heritage and how they navigate the world as “colourasian” individuals. Lines like “Her boyfriend talking colours/won’t we really be the same?” showcase their unapologetic approach to their identity.
Overall, “Eurasian” is a standout track that exemplifies FxithXhxpe’s unique style and perspective. With their blend of trap beats and unconventional lyrics, the duo is pushing the boundaries of what modern rap can be. FxithxHxpe are definitely a duo to keep an eye on as they continue to develop their sound and style in the future.
– Rosie Chan
Photos by Asher Chan & Aaron Michelson.
由Asher Chan & Aaron Michelson攝影。
(except photos of Fxithxhxpe by Bey Logan)
Poster by Bay Leung.
海報由 Bay Leung。
Translations by Twinny Chong.
中文譯本: Twinny Chong
• Tom Lee Music Gift Certificate (HK$1000) (1 prize)
• 通利琴行禮券 （價值 HK$1000） (名額 1 位)
• Noble FoKus H-ANC wireless earphones courtesy of ECT (HK$980 value) (3 prizes)
• 由ECT 贊助 Noble FoKus H-ANC 無線耳機（價值 HK$980）（名額 3 位）
• AZLA POM1000 earplugs courtesy of ECT (HK$438 value) (2 prizes)
• 由ECT 贊助 AZLA POM1000 耳塞（價值 HK$438）（名額 2 位）
• Portrait session from Asher Chan Photography (HK$2,000 value)
• 由Asher Chan photography 送出的攝影服務（價值 HK$2000）（名額 1 位）
• HK$500 gift voucher from Noise Origin (band merchandise site) (2 prizes)
• 由Noise Origin(樂隊商品網站）送岀的購物禮券（價值HK$500)(名額2位)
• Bottle of Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum sponsored by Timeless & Tasty (HK$680 value)
• 由Timeless & Tasty 送出的Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum（價值 HK$680）（名額 1 位）
• 90-minute online wellbeing session for a group of ten or less, courtesy of Positive Wellbeing (HK$5,000 value)
• 由Positive Wellbeing 送出的網上精神健康與心靈發展團體課程（10人）（價值 HK$5000）（名額 1 位）
• A voucher for two to attend a ‘Find Your Style’ art class at Gowld Art Centre (HK$560 value)
• 由覺藝術中心送出的‘Find Your Style’ 藝術課程2人禮券（價值 HK$560）（名額 1 位）